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Mianatra Center for Lemur Studies

Mianatra Center

“Mianatra” is the verb “to learn” in the language of Madagascar (Malagasy), hence LCF’s Mianatra Center for Lemur Studies is the learning center that serves as the centerpiece of the Myakka City Lemur Reserve campus. It supports LCF staff, scientists, researchers, students and visitors in their efforts to better understand the nature, ecology and conservation of the primates of Madagascar.

The facility comprises staff offices, a spacious reading/conference room equipped with the latest audio-visual and computer technology, a glassed-in private meeting room, a small kitchen for corporate and board dinners, a handicapped accessible bathroom, an equipment/storage room, and a screened-in lanai for relaxation and informal meetings.

Housed in the Center is the Anne and Walter Bladstrom Library, made up of virtual, digital and physical collections about all things “lemur”. Essentially a one-stop globally accessible information resource about lemurs, the library will include:

1) A free, web-based system that assembles, manages, and maintains a collection of links and their information concerning lemur natural history and scientific research. Such links would include websites like Madagascar Fauna Group, Duke Lemur Center and Primate InfoNet. It would also provide full-search capabilities that allow readers to access appropriate electronic journals, such as American Journal of Primatology and Folio Primatologica.

2) A depository for storing and retrieving documents electronically. Such documents would include theses, dissertations, research papers, digitized rare books, photos and film archives. It will also include a variety of historical documents, art and ephemeral materials scanned and digitized for access on the LCF site.

3) A significant collection of books, photos, art, artifacts and memorabilia.

On permanent exhibition in the Center is a collection of the original artwork featured on LCF’s coveted annual calendars. These pieces have been created by some of America’s most respected artists especially for the Foundation and are as varied in media presentation as they are marvelous.

In addition to researchers and professors, the Mianatra Center will host select groups of students and adult visitors on an appointment only basis who wish to learn more about lemurs and their place in the web of biological diversity. Because the lemur enclosures are off-limits to the general public, visitors are invited to watch lemurs housed in the lemur enclosures from the deck and viewing platform through binoculars.

Featured on the Center deck is an exhibit cage housing lemurs that cannot free-range in the forest that provides an up-close-and-personal encounter with these rare and wonderful primates.

The Mianatra Center for Lemur Studies was designed by architect Gregory Clement, a partner in Kohn Pedersen Fox (KPF), an internationally renowned architecture firm based in New York and London. The LCF gratefully acknowledges the generosity of KPF for this beautiful pro bono design and technical support through its construction.

LCF further acknowledges LCF director Michael T. Martin for underwriting the technical development plan for the library and Mark Braunstein and Katharine McKenna for furnishing the Center with the latest and most innovative audio-visual equipment through Mark’s company Markertec.

Anne and Walter Bladstrom, after whom the library is named, graciously underwrote the furniture, computers, technical infrastructure, and additional elements needed for a library to run smoothly. The realized vision of the Mianatra Center for Lemur Studies was made possible through the astonishing generosity of Emily H. Fisher Alexander and John Alexander, whose support throughout LCF’s growth allowed for the fulfillment of a dream.

 
 







 
Association of Zoos & Aquariums                                     
 
P.O. Box 249, Myakka City, Florida 34251 | 941-322-8494 | copyright ©2009 Lemur Conservation Foundation                                                              
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